Creating Meaning in Mental Health Beyond Binaries with Todd Baratz | #69

Oct 27, 2020

Image text reads, "Creating Meaning in Mental Health Beyond Binaries with Todd Baratz | #69" over a palette smeared with paint, a paintbrush resting on top of it, and open containers of paint scattered around it

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

In a world of clickbait headlines and social media surfing, mental health is often boiled down to a black-and-white binary that paints one side as desirable and the other as harmful. Licensed individual and couples therapist, Todd Baratz, thinks that oversimplification is contributing to our feelings of shame. In this episode, Todd recommends that we work to understand how culture influences our understanding of diagnoses and what’s “normal” so that we can create our own meaning in mental health and beyond.

We discussed:

  • Todd’s work and his popular Instagram account, @yourdiagnonsense
  • What Todd means when he says that mental health is a social construct.
  • Why Todd chooses not to use diagnoses in his therapeutic work.
  • The problem with viewing diagnoses as truth without doing any further research to understand the history of those diagnoses.
  • Shortcomings of breaking mental health down into binaries like “healthy/unhealthy.”
  • The shame people feel from not being able to measure up to black-and-white mental health ideals, such as ones often seen in social media content.
  • Todd’s concern with the tendency people have to try and diagnose people in their lives.
  • Our desire as humans to be “normal” and the limitations of labels.
  • How expectations hurt relationships and our sex lives.
  • Strategies for co-creating relationships from the very beginning.
  • Todd’s recommendation for partners to masturbate together.
  • How Todd defines health and wellness for himself at this moment in his life.

Featured in This Episode

A headshot of Todd wearing a collared shirt with the top two buttons undone against a bright pink backdrop

Todd Baratz (he/him) is a licensed individual and couples psychotherapist, podcast host, and writer who specializes in relationships and sex. Todd’s philosophy is that you’re not fucked up, your culture is. You can learn more about Todd on his website and Instagram.

Did you benefit from this episode? You can show your appreciation by supporting Todd’s work. Consider signing up for Todd’s Sex 101 course.

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